Donda (company)

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FounderKanye West

Donda (styled DONDA) is a creative content company founded by American rapper and fashion designer Kanye West.[1] The company is named after West's mother, Donda West, and shares the name with his tenth studio album, released in 2021.


West announced the company on January 5, 2012, via a series of Twitter posts.[2]

In his announcement, West proclaimed that the company would "pick up where Steve Jobs left off"; Donda would operate as "a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers in a creative space to bounce their dreams and ideas" with the "goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford."[3]

The announcement garnered widespread media attention, including coverage by The Guardian,[4] The Washington Post,[5] The Huffington Post,[6] The Wall Street Journal,[7] and Time magazine, which proclaimed the company's announcement the first major social media moment of 2012.[8]


West was secretive about the company's operations, maintaining neither an official website nor a social media presence.[9][10]

In stating Donda's creative philosophy, West articulated the need to "put creatives in a room together with like minds" in order to "simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see, taste, touch, and feel".[11] Contemporary critics have noted the consistent minimalistic aesthetic exhibited throughout Donda creative projects.[12][13][14]

Continuing a trend consistent in previous Kanye West projects,[15] an additional hallmark of Donda projects has been multi-disciplinary collaboration, often featuring prominent contributions from major figures in various creative fields. Prominent examples include painter George Condo, photographer Luis Tarin, video artist/film director Steve McQueen, performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, artist Wes Lang, stage designer Es Devlin, audio/visual designer Jadis Mercado, artist/sculptor Takashi Murakami, photographer Jackie Nickerson, fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, and fashion house Maison Martin Margiela.[16][17][18][19]



On May 23, 2012, Donda debuted its inaugural creative project, a film entitled Cruel Summer, as part of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The film is a seven-screen surround vision experience.

Cruel Summer was shot using a specialized camera rig, which allowed the directors to capture multiple angles simultaneously.[20] The film, developed in collaboration with the Doha Film Institute, design firm 2x4 and architecture firm OMA, was presented in a specially designed theater—christened "Surround Vision"—featuring seven screens which surrounded the audience.[21]

On March 7, 2015, West debuted a collaborative short film with director Steve McQueen entitled All Day/I Feel Like That.[22] The film premiered at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, followed by its American debut at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in July 2015.[23]

Album/singles art[edit]

Donda provided packaging design for the following albums and singles:

Music videos[edit]


Stage design[edit]

The video for West's "New Slaves" was projected using guerrilla methods on over 60 buildings worldwide.


Prominent marketing projects include:


  1. ^ Destefano, Mike (January 16, 2020). "Joe Perez Spent Eight Years Working for Kanye West and Now He's Revealing His Donda Archive. Here's Why". Complex. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  2. ^ Osei, Anthony (January 5, 2012). "Kanye West Announces Creative Company Donda". Complex. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Graham, Mark, Kanye West's Epic 1600-word Twitter Rant: Neatly Organized for your Reading Pleasure, 5 January 2012, VH1, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  4. ^ Dredge, Stuart, Kanye West's Donda wants to 'pick up where Steve Jobs left off', 6 January 2012, The Guardian, retrieved 3 August 2015.
  5. ^ Chaney, Jen, Kanye West and the Donda Twitter rant: A translation, 6 January 2012, The Washington Post, retrieved 3 August 2015.
  6. ^ Staff, Kanye West Twitter Rant: Donda, His New Company, Education & Design Plans, 5 January 2012, The Huffington Post, retrieved 3 August 2015.
  7. ^ Chai, Barbara, Kanye West Writes 86-Tweet Opus, 5 January 2012, The Wall Street Journal, retrieved 3 August 2015.
  8. ^ Carbonne, Nick & Conniff, Kelly, The Year in Social Media, 19 December 2012, Time, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  9. ^ Hope, Clover, Kanye West has a Dream: Inside his Creative Agency Donda, 19 August 2013, Vibe, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  10. ^ Pasori, Cedar, How Kanye West's Creative Company Donda is making its own Brand of Cool, 3 November 2014, Complex, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  11. ^ Graham, Mark, Kanye West's Epic 1600-word Twitter Rant: Neatly Organized for your Reading Pleasure, 5 January 2012, VH1, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ Sargent, Jordan, Donda: Kanye West Goes G.O.O.D. Trill Hunting with His Minimalist Design Company, 13 November 2013, Spin, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  13. ^ Babcock, Gregory, Kanye's Stylish Pastor Releases Donda-Designed Book, 23 June 2015, Complex, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  14. ^ Lewis, Brittany, Every Music Cover Kanye West's Creative House Donda Has Created So Far…, 3 November 2014, Global Grind, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  15. ^ McQueen, Steve, Kanye West, 19 January 2014, Interview, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  16. ^ Alexander, Ella, Why Margiela Teamed Up With Kanye, 6 November 2013, Vogue, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  17. ^ Staff, Behind Kanye West's Methodical Conquest of the Art World, 28 November 2013, Artspace, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  18. ^ Saka, Ren & Castro, Vanessa,12 Things to Know About Vanessa Beecroft, Kanye West's Visual Art Collaborator, 5 December 2013, Complex, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  19. ^ Deleon, Jian, Wes Lang Designed Kanye West's Tour T-Shirts, and Now You Can Buy Them At PacSun, 2013, 'GQ', retrieved 4 August 2015.
  20. ^ Staff, Kanye West Cruel Summer Pavilion, 2x4, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  21. ^ Rosenfeld, Karissa, Kanye West's seven-screen pavilion / OMA, 24 May 2012, ArchDaily, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  22. ^ Malle, Chloe, West with the Night: Kanye Takes over The Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 March 2015, Vogue, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  23. ^ Williams, Maxwell, Kanye West and Steve McQueen Debut Collaborative 'All Day/I Feel LIke That' Video at LACMA Gathering, 25 July 2015, The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  24. ^ Meek Mill - Burn Feat. Big Sean (Prod. By Jahlil Beats) | Stream & Listen [New Song], retrieved 2015-08-11
  25. ^ "New Music: Kanye West and Pusha T - "New God Flow"". Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  26. ^ Greenwald, David, 2 Chainz Enlists Kanye West's Donda For Album Art, 5 July 2012, Billboard, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  27. ^ "Clique". Joe Perez. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  28. ^ Diep, Eric, Kanye West Reveals "Cruel Summer" Album Art, 2 August 2012, Complex, retrieved 9 January 2012.
  29. ^ "Listen: Pusha-T Featuring Future: "Pain"". Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  30. ^ "Pusha T featuring Popcaan & Travi$ Scott – Blocka (Produced by Young Chop)". HYPETRAK. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  31. ^ Strong, Nolan, Kanye West's Company Donda Designs Artwork For Lil Wayne Album, 30 January 2013, AllHipHop, retrieved 31 January 2013.
  32. ^ "Video: Big Sean f/ Lil Wayne & Jhené Aiko – 'Beware'". Rap-Up. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  33. ^ Callahan-Bever, Noah, G.O.O.D. Music: New Religion, 23 July 2012, Complex, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  34. ^ Fox, T.S., G.O.O.D. Music: New Religion, 20 January 2015, Hypebeast, retrieved 5 August 2015.
  35. ^ "News: Rich Wilkerson Jr. Releases Debut Book, Sandcastle Kings - The Gospel Music Association". Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  36. ^ Schwarz, Hunter, Kanye West Projected "New Slaves" And A Video With Scott Disick Onto The Sides Of Buildings Last Night, 16 June 2013, BuzzFeed, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  37. ^ Green, Mark Anthony, Kanye West Gets New Creative Direction, May 2013, GQ, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Watch Kanye West's American Psycho-Themed Short Film Starring Scott Disick and Jonathan Cheban". Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  39. ^ "Watch Kanye West's Remixed Canyons Trailer". Vulture. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  40. ^ Li, Arby, The Kanye West for adidas Yeezy Season 1 Anorak, 12 February 2015, Hypebeast, retrieved 4 August 2015.
  41. ^ Marcus, Ezra, Kanye West Sends Out Mysterious New York Fashion Week Invites Archived 2015-08-02 at the Wayback Machine, 11 February 2012,, retrieved 4 August 2015.

External links[edit]